Minocycline attenuates neuronal cell death and improves cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease models

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2007 Nov;32(11):2393-404. doi: 10.1038/sj.npp.1301377. Epub 2007 Apr 4.


Minocycline is a semi-synthetic tetracycline antibiotic that effectively crosses the blood-brain barrier. Minocycline has been reported to have significant neuroprotective effects in models of cerebral ischemia, traumatic brain injury, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases. In this study, we demonstrate that minocycline has neuroprotective effects in in vitro and in vivo Alzheimer's disease models. Minocycline was found to attenuate the increases in the phosphorylation of double-stranded RNA-dependent serine/threonine protein kinase, eukaryotic translation initiation factor-2 alpha and caspase 12 activation induced by amyloid beta peptide1-42 treatment in NGF-differentiated PC 12 cells. In addition, increases in the phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor-2 alpha were attenuated by administration of minocycline in Tg2576 mice, which harbor mutated human APP695 gene including the Swedish double mutation and amyloid beta peptide(1-42)-infused rats. We found that minocycline administration attenuated deficits in learning and memory in amyloid beta peptide(1-42)-infused rats. Increased phosphorylated state of eukaryotic translation initiation factor-2 alpha is observed in Alzheimer's disease patients' brains and may result in impairment of cognitive functions in Alzheimer's disease patients by decreasing the efficacy of de novo protein synthesis required for synaptic plasticity. On the basis of these results, minocycline may prove to be a good candidate as an effective therapeutic agent for Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / chemically induced
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications*
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / genetics
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / drug effects
  • Brain / pathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Cognition Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Cognition Disorders* / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders* / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Minocycline / pharmacology
  • Minocycline / therapeutic use*
  • Nerve Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • PC12 Cells / drug effects
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Transfection


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Peptide Fragments
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-42)
  • Nerve Growth Factor
  • Minocycline